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RCAF Shoulder Titles

August 24 2005 at 5:59 PM

Don Zorniak  (Login Zorniak)
Forum Member
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I have recently added RCAF to my WW2 re-enacting interests.

The air force end does not seem as clear cut and well defined as it was for my army research.

While terrorizing Ontario this summer I took the opportunity to visit the war plane museum as well as the RCAF museum in Trenton. A couple of hundred photos later and after talking to a less than helpful curator at the Trenton stop I felt I was well on my way with my uniform concerns.

I was recently gifted a pristine war dated suit aircrew blouse (about 99% nap) and rather than compromise this item I invested in a repro aircrew suit. I got it ready for the VJ Day celebrations here in Winnipeg and wore it to add some historical colour to an event that had a dismal public showing. (That will be saved for another rant.)

Now for my RCAF uniform concerns.

I know that the greatest number of you out there portray RAF officer types. I waffled over NCO ground crew but settled on a RCAF Sgt AG.

All was well and fine until this week when I started to do more digging. Ploughing through my piles of books I am finding out some very strange things about the shoulder titles on aircrew suits for RCAF as a result of studying the photos. These photos were taken in England according to the credits.

Some NCO blouses had:

1. Canada over the eagle
2. The eagle only
3. Canada only on an NCO
4. No shoulder title at all

In the museum photos I have evidence of 1 and 2 from above but not 3 and 4.

The original blouse I have has evidence of only the Canada title as shown by a slight crushing of the wool.

Now what is correct? I know all about the 10 yard rule (been there, seen horrendous stuff up close).

Was the war time economy such that as long as they had a body to put in a plane, they would worry about uniformity at a later date? Besides that only one in five made it back. Or was there no hard and fast rule? I know the army has all kinds of exceptions based on regimental traditions, the air force is less likely so.

My service dress uniform is less of a concern.

I have more questions to ask and get your minds going.

Later for those.

PS Thank you to Chris Kanca for your help on my last post regarding service dress sizes.



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